Growing up in the 90’s, most children then were fans of the hit Nintendo franchise Pokémon. During this time, every child in the world needed to have watched Pokémon, collected the trading cards or played the videogames on the Nintendo Color. I, along with my siblings and cousins, were obsessed with the show, video games and trading card game. The show featured a young Asian boy and his friends who were on a journey to become the best Pokémon masters in the world. To achieve this goal the young Asian boy, Ash Ketchum, was to embark on a long journey capturing all types of Pokémon, visiting gyms and defeating Pokémon gym leaders.
Pokémon had been my first representation of the Asian culture. In the show, the young man and his friends ate Japanese food and practiced Japanese traditions. Being a child during this time, my interpretations of Asian culture, specifically the Japanese culture, were that every one living in Japan was a Pokémon trainer and ate rice balls for every meal. From watching the television show, I had developed a wrong concept map of the Japanese culture. I had stereotyped the entire Japanese culture based on this fictional television show thinking that every person had his or her own personal Pikachu. I then dreamt of traveling to Japan and embarking on my own Pokémon journey.
After informing my parents of my aspirations to become a Pokémon trainer in Japan, they informed me that my representation of the Japanese people and culture had been absolutely. Since then I have realized that not all Japanese were Pokémon trainers and that the Japanese culture had been more than what I had viewed on television. Since that time, I have made friends who are of Japanese descent and have shown me the Japanese culture. These friends introduced me to new foods and Japanese traditions. Since then, my perceptions have completely changed 180 degrees thanks to my Japanese friends.
In conclusion, the Japanese video game franchise had blurred my perception of the Japanese culture and its peoples. Now that I have been introduced to the Japanese culture, I now know that not all Japanese are what the video game franchise had shown me. I have learned that Japan is not how I had envisioned it as young children. I now know that the Japanese culture is an amazing culture with delicious foods and fascinating traditions.